Oden is more than just a stew!

21 Feb 2019

Oden is more than just a stew!

Oden (おでん) is a Japanese one-pot dish consisting of several ingredients such as boiled eggs, daikon, konjac, and processed fishcakes stewed in a light, soy-flavored dashi broth.

For those who have limited exposure to Asian cuisines, oden might be a confusing dish which looks like an array of unidentifiable ingredients. But oden is actually incredibly simple to make and tasty too. To neglect it would be to miss out not only on a quintessentially Japanese comfort food, but also the entire eating experience it entails.

Oden was originally what is now commonly called misodengaku or simply dengaku; konjac (konnyaku) or tofu was grilled and eaten with glazed miso. However, in the Edo period (1603-1868), people began to simmer dengaku in dashi broth. Oden gained popularity as a snack served from yatai (street carts) or by traders on foot, who would sling a wooden bar across their shoulders, with a pot of oden on one end, and a pot of warm sake on the other.

The name ‘oden’comes from shortening dengaku to ‘den‘, adding the honorific ‘o‘. Ingredients vary according to region and between each household. Karashi (mustard) is often used as a condiment.

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Recommended sake

Since oden has quite a strong taste, we recommend pairing it with sake that has a rich and deep flavor. Oden also complements heated sake. By heating sake, bitterness and saltiness is decreased, therefore sweet and sour taste stands out more. This will make oden even more flavorful.

The recommended sake is Eikun Kotosennen Junmai Ginjo which is super clean and fruity. Sweet and sour fragrance reminiscent of grapefruit, mandarin orange, pineapple and yogurt slowly spreads in the mouth until the very end of the palate. It is made with highest quality ingredients from Kyoto prefecture. Water comes from Fushimi which is distinguished by having access to spring water of exceptional quality. This water produces elegant, not too overly sweet, and soft sake. It is made with Iwai rice which gives this sake fragrance and nice mouthfeel.

It is an award winning sake with high quality ingredients.

February 22nd is Oden Day so we invite you to celebrate it with delicious oden while sipping on a cup of chilled or heated Eikun Kotosennen Junmai Ginjo!

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